origins are lost in the building’s past. The metallic tone is carried onto
the striated bronze wallcovering and the arboreal sconces above the
sideboard. Yet for all the drama of the stairs, a circular antique table
— one of the few furniture favorites the owners had shipped across the
seas — anchors the room.
The ceiling received as much consideration as the floor plan. To
start, the place was lousy with plexiglass-bubble skylights. “I can’t
even remember how many we got rid of,” says Verbridge, who brought
natural light into the family and dining rooms using historically appropriate pyramid skylights. Installed over paneled recesses with hidden
perimeter lighting, the windows glow even at night. In the kitchen and
family room, a coffered ceiling creates a more personal ambiance, and
in the master suite, a blue-gray wash overhead enhances feelings of
comfort and protection. In many rooms, mesh or crystal fixtures transform the lighting into design features, projecting geometrics onto the
ceiling. “A little magical,” says the owner.
The tall, arched windows of the living room, original to the 19th-
century building, now conceal 21st-century shades controlled from an
iPad. Verbridge replicated that tight arch in the study doors and bar-
reled hallway ceilings, then introduced a curved line in matters large
and small, from the long sweep of the pillared divider between the liv-
ing room and dining room to the contours of the Saarinen table in the
kitchen to the bateau tub in the master bath. In the dining room, cab-
inets by RF McManus Co. of Charlestown, Massachusetts, have flat
fronts and arched doors fitted with leaded stained glass in an organic
interlocking pattern. Such geometrics are another unifying element.
Subtly embedded in sea-foam greens and sandy taupes, they pop up
in carpeting, wallpaper, and fabric. “The level of detail
is the difference at the end of the day,” says the owner,
commenting on the way honeycomb openwork on a lav-
atory vanity is replayed on the wall.
The couple’s long-distance design relationship with
Verbridge was sustained with frequent face time and a joint desire to
create a cohesive whole from disparate pieces. Verbridge never ran
from the challenging work site, but the project was not without its tense
moments. The two-story spiral staircase had to be lowered into its slen-
der casement from high above the building, dangling from a crane, but
not only did it connect, it was a perfect fit.
a cozy chair by an arched window (left) makes for a
contemplative corner in the master suite. The wallpaper in the
powder room (above) plays off the honeycomb detail in the
vanity. The patterned carpet brings depth to the master bedroom
(facing page, top), while bits of crystal in the chandelier reflect
light even when the fixture is off. In the master bath (facing page,
bottom), the swag of the crystal chandelier is captured in the
wallpaper. The bathtub is a limestone composite.